Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography and Anthropology

First Advisor

Anthony J. Lewis


Crime is a spatial phenomenon. This study has proposed an urban opportunity structure model to understand the spatial patterns associated with crime based on the opportunities defined by urban structure. Any site in an urban space presents crime opportunities; the crime probability at a site is determined by factors such as urban physical settings, the transportation network and land use types. The hypothesized model was tested through the approach of multi-scale spatial analyses comprised of units from precinct maps used by the Jackson Police Department. The scales were defined at different area aggregations. The first scale was set on individual sites to investigate the site situation. The crime and urban structure data were investigated using the individual sites of Burger King restaurants in Jackson. Then crime incidents and urban structure data in terms of transportation network and land use were aggregated and analyzed at the resolution of grid zones, beat zones, and precincts using G statistics and spatial region model. The multi-resolution unit analyses concluded that adjacent dependency existed across all the units of grid, beat zones, and precincts. The second local street (A4) and 3-way intersections visualized as the grid network carried a significant weight in the transportation network to affect crime Opportunities. The elements of land use significantly contributing to the opportunity structure were identified: residential, general commercial, and vacant building. The retail locations for eating and drinking (restaurants and bars), educational and professional services in an area play a significant role in an occurrence of crime incident. The picture of a high crime probability site can be described as follows: a site in which the adjacent areas which are easily accessible through a street network such as a local grid network, with a high diversity of land use and a high density of residential and general commercial buildings, particularly retail commercial for eating and drinking.